Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Donald Trump’s Moment

His claim that Bush ‘lied’ about WMD in Iraq is a lie spread by the left.
By now it’s a cliché that Donald Trump can say anything he wants, and his supporters don’t care. They love him for his attitude and bluster, which has become a proxy for their rage against the political machine. Maybe that will be true again after Saturday night’s debate in South Carolina, but someone has to point out how the GOP presidential frontrunner has adopted the political left’s worldview on fundamental questions—including blatant distortions of fact.
Take his full-throated endorsement of the conspiracy theory that the George W. Bush Administration deliberately lied to get the U.S. into the Iraq war. “You call it whatever you want. I wanna tell you. They lied,” Mr. Trump replied to a question by CBS moderator John Dickerson. “They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.”
Despite years of investigation and countless memoirs, there is no evidence for this claim. None. The CIA director at the time, George Tenet, famously called evidence of WMD in Iraq a “slam dunk.” Other intelligence services, including the British, also believed Saddam Hussein had such programs. After the first Gulf War in 1991 the CIA had been surprised to learn that Saddam had far more WMD capability than it had thought. So it wasn’t crazy to suspect that Saddam would attempt to rebuild it after he had expelled United Nations arms inspectors in the late 1990s.
President Bush empowered a commission, led by former Democratic Sen. Chuck Robb and federal Judge Laurence Silberman, to dig into the WMD question with access to intelligence and officials across the government. The panel included Patricia Wald, a former chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals appointed by Jimmy Carter, and Richard Levin, president of Yale University at the time.
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